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What Is Barley Cereal?

Barley cereal is a nourishing breakfast option made from whole barley grain, known for its rich, nutty flavor and high fiber content. It's a hearty choice that offers essential nutrients, supporting digestive health and providing sustained energy. Packed with vitamins and minerals, it's a wholesome start to your day. Wondering how it can transform your morning routine? Let's explore its benefits together.
Brandon May
Brandon May

Barley cereal is a type of cereal made with barley, a whole grain wheat alternative often consumed by individuals seeking a healthier approach to cereal. The cereal is often made using whole, hulled barley berries cooked with milk or water and sweetened with honey, sugar or other ingredients. A barley cereal can be made into cereal flakes or other shapes using typical food processing mechanics, often incorporating freshly milled barley flour into the ingredients. Many nutritionists and wellness experts recommend barley cereal due to its high nutrient content compared to an oat- or wheat-based cereal, praising its high fiber and protein.

A typical barley cereal is made with fresh barley berries, a whole grain similar to wheat berries due to its gluten protein content. The barley berries are often hulled from their hard and inedible shell before selling to markets and grocery stores, as these outer coverings cannot be broken or softened during cooking. Just like wheat berries and oats, barley can be cooked with water and milk and served as a cereal. This type of cereal is often recommended for infants who do not respond well to rice, oat or wheat cereals due to allergy concerns or digestive issues.

Barley grains.
Barley grains.

More often than not, basic cooked barley cereal offers a good substitute for cooked oatmeal and is dressed using the same basic ingredients. Spices like cinnamon and ginger and additions like sugar, honey or apples often accompany a cereal made with cooked barley berries. Some cereal manufacturers use a blend of different whole grains like wheat, quinoa and rolled oats in a barley cereal, increasing the amount of whole grain content per serving. It should be noted that most barley cereal does contain gluten, so those with gluten sensitivities should seek other sources of nourishment.

A head of barley.
A head of barley.

Processed cold cereals with barley as their main ingredient often use freshly milled barley flour in the original recipe, creating cereal flakes and other cereal shapes. This is often accomplished through food manufacturing machinery and other methods that can't always be accomplished in typical kitchens. Many doctors and nutritionists recommend a barley cereal for most individuals due to its high nutrient content and relatively moderate energy content. Other than fiber and antioxidants, which are important for maintaining proper health and bodily function, barley also contains a high amount of amino acids, which are essential for proper cell growth and renewal.

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Discussion Comments


@candyquilt-- I know what you mean about cost. I don't eat barley cereal but I buy a baby barley cereal for my daughter. I wanted to introduce her to different grains and she loves this cereal. But it costs much more than other baby grain cereals. There is no way I'd spend so much if my baby didn't love it and if this cereal wasn't so healthy and good for her. The biggest advantage has been that it seems to be easier on her digestive system than wheat cereal. There is less fuss and gas after meals so I'm willing to pay extra.


Barley cereal is awesome. I like it more than wheat cereal. It is more difficult to find than wheat though and more costly too. I'm not sure why, I think it's a similar grain.

When I can't get barley cereal, I buy the flakes and make porridge from it. This is a good option too, especially in winter. I like to add dry fruits and nuts and cook it with milk with a pinch or two of cinnamon. Yummy.


I don't think children with allergies will respond well to barley because barley has gluten too. It's definitely not suitable for those with gluten sensitivity or intolerance. I think rice cereal is best for children with gluten sensitivity. Potato and tapioca are okay too.

My niece has celiac disease and she only eats gluten-free cereals such as these. My sister tries to use a combination of these. So for example, if she uses rice, she also adds quinoa because rice and potato are notorious for being high glycemic foods. So it's a challenge to find gluten-free cereals for children with celiac disease that won't cause blood sugar issues.

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    • Barley grains.
      Barley grains.
    • A head of barley.
      By: schankz
      A head of barley.
    • Barley cereal and other types of porridge are often sweetened with honey.
      By: Nitr
      Barley cereal and other types of porridge are often sweetened with honey.